IFA National Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman Harold Kingston has said that the continuous bad weather throughout the summer and into the autumn has caused havoc for farmers who are trying to empty tanks before housing stock this winter.
He said, “During the summer dairy cows were housed for up to two months in parts of Munster, the midlands and some western counties. Currently it remains extremely difficult to spread fertiliser because many fields remain un-trafficable.”
Mr Kingston has called on the Department of the Environment, the Department of Agriculture and Teagasc to immediately develop a flexible solution that will allow farmers to get through this winter, after an unprecedented summer of torrential rain.
“Farmers have made the right decision not to spread slurry during the times of extensive rain. However, we should not be penalised by a blanket ban on spreading. It is essential that Ministers now draft in the expertise of Teagasc and develop a sensible and practical solution. Farmers need support to lower their tanks during the winter and this must be done without fear of penalties,” he noted.